Regional Dean, College of Medicine at Peoria
Sara L. Rusch graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 with a BA degree in Molecular Biology. She received her MD degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1978. Dr. Rusch is board certified in General Internal Medicine.
Dr. Rusch served as Chief Resident in Medicine at Saint Francis Medical Center from 1980-1981. At OSF-Saint Francis Medical Center, she served as Chair of the Department of Medicine from 1993-2008, and practiced general Internal Medicine in a private practice group from 1981-2001 and as a hospitalist from 2001-2008.
Dr. Rusch served as Vice Chair, Residency Program Director and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Dr. Sara Rusch was appointed Regional Dean, in addition to her title of Professor of Clinical Medicine, effective January 21, 2008 by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Since becoming Regional Dean, Dr Rusch has led multiple efforts to improve UICOMP. These include: building small-group learning spaces, advancing simulation training, expanding research, and expanding residency education.
Last year alone, UICOMP created a new psychiatry residency program in collaboration with Methodist Medical Center; saw the opening of a $13 million expansion of the Cancer Research Center and broke ground on a state-of-the-art simulation and education center on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical. Last year, UICOMP also established the new Center for Outcomes Research, which is putting in place processes to monitor and improve the quality of healthcare, possibly leading the way to creating national models.
Dr. Rusch served as Governor for the Downstate Chapter of the American College of Physicians from 2005-2009. The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. In April of 2010, Dr. Rusch was elected to ACP Mastership. Masters comprise a select group of highly distinguished physicians who have achieved excellence in medicine and made significant contributions to medical science and the art of medicine. Dr. Rusch has been recognized as an educator and mentor of young physicians, an academic leader and a skilled clinician, most recently receiving the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Athena Award in 2011, the UIC Woman of the Year Award in 2011, as well as the YWCA Mother M. Frances Krasse Health Care Professions Award in 2012.
Dr. Rusch is married to Dr. Thomas Cusack, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. She is mother to seven children — Patrick, Christopher, Chad, Andrew, Matthew, Caroline and Katherine.